Beautiful – The Carol King Musical, is currently playing at the Aronoff in Cincinnati, and I had the pleasure of watching it with a friend a few nights ago. It conveys the the early success of performer Carole King by filling the auditorium with tune after tune. The play begins at the time of her first big hit, when Carole was only 16. Music and lyrics, written by Carole and her early partner and former husband, Gerry Goffin along with songs written by the team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil resonate, filling the venue with the catchy styles of the 1960’s and ‘70’s.
There’s just enough clever dialogue to move the play along, without too much interference – the music is so captivating. Carole’s mom, Genie Klein played by Suzanne Grodner and the team of Weil and Mann, played by Erika Olson and Ben Fankhauser provide comedic moments with their dry New York City wit and accents. James Clow as Gerry Goffin provides the seriousness of an extremely talented man who is plagued by confusion brought on by substance abuse and mental health issues.
But the real star here is Carole King, who allowed us to experience her own feelings about life by sharing her incredible musical talent. Julia Knitel’s clear voice hits the mark with every tune. Intermission seemed to come about 15 minutes after the show began, and at the end it was clear that the whole audience was left wanting more.
Whether the songs in Beautiful underline your life history, whether you’ve hummed them, not knowing them well, or whether you’ve never been exposed – no matter – see this show, it’s a keeper!
For tickets and show times visit Cincinnati Broadway! The last show is May 14th, so hurry and get your tickets!
*disclaimer – I was given tickets for review purposes. All opinions are 100% mine.